I'm a bit of a dumpster diver, I'll admit it. And I'm always on the lookout for boxes to use for recycling, so I snag 'em from the recycling area at work to take home and fill up with used newspapers and beer cans.
So today I was over there in Papertown and I saw a 2001 calendar that someone had gotten rid of. It was striking, to see that. It reminded me of when you see a rusted, junky hulk of an old car on the side of the road, steam spewing out of its snout like a Gingrich tantrum, and you think of the day some happy family got that Delta 88 when it was brand new, and how they all piled into that Oldsmobile for a ride over to Cousin Al's and then a stop at Scoops, the ice cream parlor. For the first few weeks, until Dad spilled egg foo young all over the front seat, no one was allowed to eat in the car. Ah, the memories!
When this calendar was printed up in late 2000, the world had been through its Y2K crisis and everything seemed to be OK, but a few hanging chads later, things changed. Still, there was nothing about Tuesday, September 11, 2001 that seemed to augur anything evil. Just by looking at the calendar, it was going to be another Tuesday, that was all.
I have framed in our garage a work schedule that my father made up for the last three months of 1941. I keep it around because it is an early example of the perfect calligraphy that he used every time he wrote anything. From a formally done wedding commemoration, to the face on the grandfather clock he made us, to a note to an adolescent me reminding me to change the oil in the Plymouth, cut the grass and sweep out the workshop, everything he wrote was a work of art. So I figure it was during the summer of 1941 that he laid out the calendar for the final quarter, and you can look at this chart and see who was working at the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company in his department on that Sunday morning, December 7, "a day which will live in infamy."
They're all just dates on a calendar, 365 per year, except this year when we will have 366. Until something happens that makes a day of memorable happiness or one of memorable enormity, we never know.